|Article by Ben Huber
In January, a second season of Durarara!! will begin. Yes, the 2010 madcap anime about gang violence, a headless Irish fairy, and the insane citizens of Ikebukuro will be returning with three cours. If you haven't seen the show before, we highly recommend you catch up as it has a great cast of characters that you'll fall in love with... or love to hate! Whether you've seen the series yet or not, we've got 15 reasons to get ready for more Durarara!! — in gif form!
Kida, Anri, and Mikado
These three are the foundation of the series. When Mikado moves into Ikebukuro, he's not really sure what to expect, but his best friend Kida introduces him to everyone around — even the slightly seedier folks. "Don't go near the Dollars," he says, warning Mikado of the latest gang activity. Little does Kida know, Mikado is more knowledgeable of the Dollars than he might expect!
Celty Sturluson, Dullahan
Essentially the main character of the story, Celty Sturluson is a dullahan who has lost her head. She's been scouring the world looking for it, and has settled down in Ikebukuro where she can sense it's near. The question is: will she ever find it? And does she need it back, too? Despite not having a head, she's one of the most emotive characters in the whole series! Celty rocks.
The Headless Rider
Also, don't get on Celty's bad side, because she will mess you up. She's a supernatural Irish fairy — tougher than the gang members roaming Ikebukuro, and if cornered, she'll fight back. Being immortal, with regenergative healing abilities helps, too, though.
This rough-and-tumble bartender may have gotten fired from his job due to anger issues, but that doesn't mean he's going to stop wearing the uniform! His body doesn't tell him when to stop straining himself, resulting in seemingly superhuman feats of strength (although he's been breaking many bones along the way).
Seriously, no matter what, don't cross this guy! It's one of the first things Kida tells Mikado
You Will Hate Him
By the end of the first season, you will learn to hate Izaya Orihara. Ikebukuro's top information broker is kind of a jerk — actually, he's a huge jerk. He loves messing with people, telling lies to get what he wants, and emotionally manipulating everyone he comes across. We're not exaggerating.
If you're a fan of anime (and you probably are, if you're reading this), you'll find tons of subtle and not-so-subtle references in Durarara!!, especially to creator Ryohgo Narita's other series, Baccano. Looks for billboards of Baccano! in the background (in fact, two characters from the show make a cameo in episode 11), a Spice & Wolf standee, and more otaku goodness.
Erika and Walker
Speaking of otaku, Erika and Walker are an adorable couple who're obsessed with anime, manga, and more. Even amidst all the gang activity they get involved in, they still find time to pick up the latest volumes of their favorite series — and Erika seems to find pairings amongst all of the people she meets.
What, how did you think a woman with no head would communicate? Yes, Celty texts to tell people things. The best thing is: no one judges her for it. Sure, they might be surprised by a tall, silent, helmeted woman at first, but they quickly learn to read her messages. She also frequents online forums, as they're a great way for her to easily chat with the rest of the world and keep up on what's happening.
And Celty's Powers
Being a dullahan has its perks. Celty can use her shadows to influence things and create physical objects, from a container, to a helmet, to typing on her cellphone or laptop quicker. She can change her clothing at will too, which is incredibly handy.
Anri aka Saika
Early on, many people in Ikebukuro are worried about a killer named Saika — a blade-wielding menace that seems to be attacking people left and right. It's revealed that Anri Sonohara, one of Kida and Mikado's classmates, is actually Saika. She begins to use her powers for good of Ikebukuro, in hopes that she can make things right.
One of the fun elements of Durarara!! is seeing your favorite characters meet up. There's a bit of a "who would win in this fight?" flavor to their meetups, and whenever a new character is introduced, you can't help but wonder how they'll react upon meeting Shizuo, Simon, or other citizens of Ikebukuro.
The Opening and Ending
Just putting this out there: Durarara!! has some pretty great opening and ending themes. Plus, the animation is always unique, as we're introduced to each character with a freeze-frame featuring their name. One nice touch: if a character's name is supposed to be a mystery, Durarara!! is smart enough to not tell you in the opening until its been revealed. Thanks!
Izaya and Shizuo's Rivalry
Perhaps the most entertaining side-story in Durarara!! is the ongoing battles between Izaya and Shizuo. Whenever the two cross paths, a fight will inevitably break out, resulting in vending machines, knives, and streetlamps being strewn about as they tear up the streets. Shizuo will always call out to Izaya mockingly when he happens to see him...